It was 10:30 am Friday the 13th, I know what you're thinking, "What are you going riding for on Friday the 13th anyway-are you stupid?". Turns out ... yes I am. I have been telling one of my friends from work that I was going to take him riding in the woods but we could just never hook up on the same days off. That day finally arrived on Friday the 13th. The temperature was in the mid 50's with a slight breeze from the north as we headed out at the crack of noon.
Dozer is one of my new best friends that I met at work. I know a lot of people but I don't take lightly the task of bestowing "Best Friend" status to someone. Dozer is 6'5", weighs 310 lbs and rides a Harley. He is at first glance a bit overwhelming, you don't know whether to run from him or just stand still hoping that maybe he won't notice you. First impressions aren't always correct. Dozer is a "Family Guy" (but not as screwed up as the show by the same title) with 2 daughters and 2 step daughters. He enjoys camping, kayaking and of course motorcycles. He is the kind of friend that would help you out however he can. We like to go downtown on Thursday nights and listen to live music. My daughter told me that she was out with some friends last summer and they were listening to the band and talking when he walks up behind her and stands over her while she is seated at the table. She said the table just went quite and everyone of the girls was looking up over her head. About that time he grabbed her shoulder and she looked up and said "Oh hi Dozer", to which a collective "whew" was heard over the band playing.
We dropped off of the mountain we parked on rather slowly letting him adjust to the bike. A 225 lb two stroke dirt bike is a world apart from a 800 lb Harley dresser, but he was doing excellent with the transition. We rode some dirt roads, asphalt and logging roads before hitting the first single track trail of the day. At this time we switched and I let him take the KTM 525 and I jumped on the nimble little two stroke. We rode up a steep long hill with switchbacks and a couple of limbs at face level (just ask Dozer - I think he found both of them) before leveling out on top of Walker Mountain. From there we rode a faster more open trail ... that has several trees down across it ... BIG TREES. Dozer negotiated the fast little obstacle course with little or no problems. In fact his only real problem seemed to be arm pump, a common side effect of off road riding when you are not used to it. He was doing really great for the first time out, but after the single track, I tried to ride some easier stuff so he wouldn't hate me so much.
We had about 43 miles in when the Friday the 13th curse hit. We were almost back to the truck and were scooting along at a fair pace, I cross over a low water bridge pin the throttle, hit an intersection and turn around to check for Dozer. No Dozer, ok just wait a little bit. Still no Dozer, shut my bike off and listen ... no engine noise can be heard. Not a good sign. I start my bike up, turn around and start back tracking and as I turn the corner by the low water bridge, I see him ... laid out on the ground in pain. He tells me he's pretty sure he broke his foot. After some time he gets up and walks ... well ok hobbles around. I tell him I will ride back and get the truck but he assures me he is able to ride back to the truck. He rode the 8 miles back to the truck, and after going to the doctor discovered he had in fact fractured 3 bones on the top of his foot just in front of his toes. I feel really bad about dragging him out there to ride, well ok, the real reason is I'm afraid he is going to punch me once he heals up but for now I can run circles around him!